Under the Spillway

On the Verde River northeast of the metro Phoenix area, water was released from an upstream lake (Horseshoe) to be stored in a downstream lake (Bartlett) to create storage in anticipation heavy rain the next week, and the not to distant spring snow melt in the mountains.

The spillway is unique from most other dams in that you can walk under it – even when water is flowing over it!

I had the opportunity to take a few photos and video of the water rushing over the spillway while walking under it.

From the Desert to the Snow

Four Peaks Mountain

When planning a ride with the riding group of Old, Older, and Oldest (my friends Tony, Rich and myself), I jokingly suggested riding the ATVs to the top of Four Peaks Mountains as it had snowed there recently. I was surprised when they said they wanted to go!

From our starting point in the desert, we crossed a few streams from the runoff of the melting snow before we made it to the top of the summit. We had a great view of Roosevelt Lake before we turned turned around at the Lone Pine Trailhead just a short distance from the lookout.

One of the streams we crossed
Tony checking out something in the stream
My ATV in the foreground, Rich in the background
Getting closer to our destination
Roosevelt Lake from the lookout at the summit of the mountain
Another view of Roosevelt Lake
Our turn-around at the Lone Pine Trailhead

A View From Above

My youngest son and his family had a photo shoot recently, and they asked me to tag along and get a couple of drone shots.

My drone has an aircraft warning system, and just as I got the drone above the group, I get a warning from my remote controller, telling me there was an aircraft in the area. Sure enough, a helicopter was flying high overhead!

Since he was so high, and I wasn’t flying higher than the power lines and were close enough to them that the helicopter could not land near us, there was no way for me to interfere with his flight, nor he with my flight.

I inadvertently scared my son’s family though. They had arrived late for the photo shoot, and I only had a couple of minutes before it was time for the next group. I wanted to get closer for a photo and lowered the drone quickly. They thought it was falling out of the sky, screamed, and quickly scrambled off the pickup!

I guess I should have told them what I was doing!

On the tailgate
In the pickup bed

Water and Stuck ATVs

Before the weather here in the Arizona desert got really hot, friends Tony, Rich, and Bill (who refer to themselves as the riding group of Old, Older and Oldest), were out riding in the normally dry Lower Sycamore Creek northeast of the Phoenix, Arizona metro area. Since it had not rained for quite a while, they were surprised to see water in it – and a couple of ATVs stuck in the sand!

Old and Older helped them out, while Oldest sat back and watched.

Desert Mushroom

Living in the desert, you do not expect to find mushrooms growing in a normally dry, arid landscaping. However, while I was out walking one of my dogs, I came across a yard with several of these growing. I have no idea what kind of mushroom it is, but I was surprised to see it.

You know we got a lot of rain when you see these suddenly pop up in the desert!

The Mill, Crown King, Arizona

The ATV riding group of Old, Older, and Oldest (In order: Old, Oldest, and Older)

The ATV riding group of Old, Older and Oldest rode their ATVs to the old gold mining town of Crown King, Arizona, in the Bradshaw Mountains (elevation of 5,771 feet). They were joined by Oldest’s niece and her husband, who followed in their Jeep.

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Silver King Smokehouse and Saloon

Boyce Thompson Arboretum 20210327-010
Inside the Silver King Smokehouse and Saloon

After spending the morning at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum just outside of the old mining town of Superior, Arizona, We had lunch at the Silver King Smokehouse and Saloon. It has been featured on a recent television episode of Arizona Highways.

Great food and good service!

I used a GoPro Max 360 degree camera to capture the image inside the establishment.

Historic Pinal Cemetery

I was out by Montana Mountain, west of the old mining town of Superior, Arizona, and north of  Boyce Thompson Arboretum, with my brother-in-law today, checking if the area was open so that we could ride our ATVs out there next month. Due the the number of wildfires in the area this year, we were not certain if the area was open or not. We flew our drones while out there. When we left, we inadvertently took the wrong road out. Several intersected where we had stopped.

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Union Pacific’s 4014 ‘Big Boy’ Steam Locomotive

The Union Pacific’s Engine 4014 ‘Big Boy’ Steam Locomotive was passing through Arizona this week, so I thought I’d take my drone out to video it. The largest steam engine built, weighing in at over 1,200,000 pounds, it is the only one functional today. Only 25 were built and they were retired in 1961 when diesel-engine locomotives became prominent. Restoration on this engine began in 2014 and after it was completed in 2019, it was sent out touring the country.

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